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    The event in Sofia on December 7 was part of a series of events in Member States to present the results of the country-specific results of the EIB investment survey (EIBIS), to map key findings of the investment report to the local economy and to learn more from local stakeholders about investment, finance and policies. Key takeaways from the event are that corporate investment is lagging economic growth in an economy that is very dependent on European structural and investment funds. The lack of workers with relevant skills, uncertainty and, to some extent, financial constraints are important impediments to corporate investment.

    The conference was held in Sofia on December 7 and organised in cooperation with the chambers of commerce of Austria, France, Germany, Greece and Italy in Bulgaria.

    The EIB presented the results of the EIBIS, the EIB’s annual investment report, as well as an overview of EIB operations in Bulgaria. Several priorities for policymakers emerged from the panel session that took place during the event:

    • reforming the bankruptcy procedure;
    • reducing red tape;
    • improving business environment and labour laws;
    • improving education on all levels;
    • improving cooperation between businesses and university;
    • scaling the availability of risk financing to levels seen in the IT sector for other innovative sectors;
    • improving government support for innovative startups, particularly for R&D facilities, infrastructure and applied science.

    The conference finished with a lunch to commemorate the 60 anniversary of the EIB